Do you know yourself? Really? Beyond all the generalities, genealogies and socializing…just how well do you know yourself? Answers to THAT question my brothers and sisters in Christ is where I had to dive deep in me to know why I do what I do and find out why I feel what I feel in regard to many things – but mainly relationship scenarios in my life. Let me go ahead and tell you right now…understanding these things is truly an “Exodus” journey!
Of all the areas that I could have shared on tonight, one of them has caused me more wounds than I care to remember. But tonight, well tonight we shine the spotlight on REJECTION. Surely you know what I mean. Haven’t all of us at some point had a pain that washes over us on the heels of rejection? I don’t know about you but rejection doesn’t make me want to cry on the outside. It makes me want to cry on the inside. Almost like I can close my eyes and see my heart weeping. It is as if someone intentionally struck my heart and I absolutely hate the way that it makes me feel about others… but also about myself.
So go ahead and ask me. What difference does self discovery make in lieu of all that? What monumental difference would knowing myself better make one way or the other? Well, I am glad that you asked, smile. Tonight, I will explain it in two-fold simplicity for the sake of this story. Give me a little teaching time to get the groundwork laid before I go into rejection in just a minute.
First, for me I can assure you that my life patterns will guide every step that I make until “I” make a change to go in a different direction. And that holds true for any and all areas in my life (and yours) that hold the reins so-to-speak in guiding our lives – none are excluded, i.e., health, finances, anger, forgiveness, rearing children, addictions, fears, sexual behaviors, body perceptions, emotional wounds, attitude issues, God-surrender, etc. Patterns are our learned or preferred automatic responses to life issues or thoughts. Scary isn’t it that we can be led on “auto” huh? Haven’t you ever driven down the road a piece and don’t even remember the journey? Well, the same “auto” happens in thoughts and behaviors.
Secondly, for me, once I learned that many of these “auto” areas were causing scenarios in my life with painful responses, I began to realize that I needed God to help me WANT to change the wrong auto responses in my life.
Oh my gosh…I know all of us would rather someone else change and resolve our situation. Right? That is NOT going to happen for the most part. Haven’t we all heard that the only person that we can change is ourselves? Don’t you hate that? I wanted to point my finger and show someone else was responsible…but I found out that it would have to be me.
This, my friend is where I will share about rejection tonight and my journey from the pit of suffering with it. I remember many times throwing myself across my bed in tears, praying, crying out to God to do a “faster” work. I would be mad at Him. I would need Him. It was quite a journey. I always felt like it wasn’t my fault the way that I was…but yet, I found myself suffering the consequences nonetheless. I wanted God to change me. I wanted to be set free from rejection perceptions. I pray this story will demonstrate that it CAN be done. Everyone’s healing journey is different with God…here is mine…
Because of my childhood sexual abuse followed by two divorces I had developed extreme sensitivities and perceptions that triggered rejection easily. I would be devastated when people’s behavior didn’t reveal the love and respect they spoke with their mouths. Considering them lacking in character and integrity it also made me feel ashamed and angry…with me being angrier at myself because their behavior “told me” that they didn’t find me worthy of love or respect. Inside my heart I was afraid that it wasn’t their fault but mine if I wasn’t lovable. Inside my heart I felt that my physical looks were the qualifier to my value. I am pretty sure that my “auto” cycle kept me trying to prove that I WAS worthy because I craved their love and respect…needing “approval” in a dependence fashion. This approval need of mine was in many settings… socializing, in dating, in work, in ministry, or with family…it was an auto rejection cycle ready and waiting to torture me with thoughts and feelings of lack of self worth…and I had had enough!!! I was totally sick of thinking about myself and getting hurt! So, about 8 years ago I laid it on the altar…trusting Jesus.
I spent time with the Lord and He began to heal me and reveal many “auto” patterns that triggered rejection easily. Once awareness of those triggers was awakened in me He began to give me discernment and strategy to plan ahead so that I could avoid those situations or mindsets and develop healthier relationship patterns. Now did anyone say change was easy? NO! But to get out of the rejection pit I had to begin to change me!
So many times victims mentally/emotionally develop survival mindsets in order to endure abusive situations – and in me it turned into a protective self focus to monitor people around me like a safety radar constantly trying to keep my “love gauge” within the worthy of love range. In adult years it absolutely interfered with other relationships. Therefore, I learned that as a survivor I must transform my thoughts to the Word…and let go of all the monitoring and measuring …and just learn to be free and trust God to lead me with wise decisions and God-relationships!
I think Jesus says it best in Isa 61, “… He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God to comfort those who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion and bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…”
There is a life beyond rejection, victimization, survival, divorce and wrong mindsets – and I am grateful! I know you are too! In closing tonight I would like to share an excerpt from another story I wrote some years ago during my healing journey. I pray that you will enjoy the Jesus that He showed me. The excerpt begins with a young woman seeking Jesus in the crowds as He ministers among his people…watch what He does with rejection in action.
I can’t see Jesus but I know he is here. At last I see the crowds surround a large home. No one pays any attention to me so I go around and slip in the back door.
Inside the home I see the men reclining around the table – with the women and servants busy getting the meal together for them. Suddenly, I see Jesus and he is magnificent. Everyone is looking at him and listening to what he is saying. I can tell that He is gentle and loving. I walk up behind him feeling overwhelmed with humility. His very essence calls to me to continue. I close my eyes, listening to his voice as tears pour down my face. I walk around in front of him and kneel at his feet…unable to even say a word. My teardrops fall onto his feet…like rain.
After a moment, I slowly reach out a fingertip and trace the path of my tears across his feet. I never look up but I can feel his stillness. I can feel his heartbeat as I touch him. I can tell that He is waiting on me. Needing to serve him, I remove the jar of perfume that I have hidden in my clothes and begin to pour it over his feet. I hear his sigh. His breath encourages me and I lean low and begin to wash his feet with my tears and perfume. I kiss his feet and I love him. Lost in the joy of serving him, I pick up the ends of my hair and use them to dry his feet.
Above the woman, Jesus lifts his gaze and looks into the hearts and minds of the men sitting around him judging harshly this woman serving and loving him. His heart goes out to her. His heart goes out to them. Then he begins to teach them all of truth and love and of debts that no one can pay.
As he spoke, the woman listened and was amazed. He was her champion. He protected her. Jesus, seeing her surrender, gave her His heart – and the Prince of Peace welcomed her home.
On the Heels of Rejection
Patti Corbello Archer
June 7, 2011
Page 4 – Up Close & Personal